Category: Governance and Organizational

News and reports from the Board of Trustees, Board Committees (Finance, HR, etc.), Program Coordinating Council, Fundraising and other groups concerned about the organizational running of UCV.

Board Blog – NEW

Léonie Armstrong, the new President of the UCV Board, welcomed the new board members: Leslie Hill, Elisabeth Geller (Vice-President), Cathy Sevcik (Treasurer) and Sheila Resels at our meeting on November 20 (every third Tuesday).  We would like to remind everyone that all UCV members are welcome to attend.

We had a very special guest at this meeting.

Continuing board members are Mairy Beam (board secretary), Julia Myers, Huguette Sansonnet, Marg Fletcher (past president), Emilie Adin, Ursula Litzcke.

The board is going to submit a “board blog” note every month.

Read more about our congregational leaders here.

Read about our governance structure and see core documents here. Board meeting minutes are posted each month after they are ratified at a board meeting.


Rental Discount for Not for Profit Groups

We have a variety of room sizes and arrangements available for rent when the congregation is not using them.

We offer a special discount of 10% for not-for-profit groups. Contact Marcus.  More details here.

Some of the organizations who rent space with us are:


Note: to be eligible for discount, the organization must have a charity number or registered society number.

Outreach Opportunites Fund Nominations

Every year, the Outreach Opportunities Fund (OOF) Committee selects three recipients to be given 25% of the funds from the Sunday collection. For more information and a list of past recipients please go to this page.

Recipients receive the funds for four straight months: the average amount awarded is about $1,800. The Committee seeks nominations from the congregation.

Nominated organizations must comply with OOF’s selection criteria: registered charities that undertake social justice or environmental sustainability work with a focus on vulnerable or marginalized communities. Priority is given to smaller charities in the Vancouver area rather than large national ones. The charity must not have a formal affiliation with a religious organization or political party. Only nominate a charity with which you have some connection, e.g, donor, volunteer, board member, etc.

Please click below to fill in form.

OOF Nomination form

Submit the form to Melody Mason or leave it in the OOF mail box in the UCV office.

CUC eNews November 2018

Highlights: New CUC Youth Observer, Board brainstorming using De Bono’s “Six Thinking Hats”, “Shining Lights” and special CUC Funding Programs, CUC Liaison role revived, Young Adults monthly zoom get together, other Roundtables & Webinars…

Download the CUC eNews from the communications page on the CUC website.

Subscribe to the eNews here

Articles include:
• Update from the Board President – Read about the September board & staff retreat held in Guelph, ON.
• New Youth Observer to the CUC Board (YOB) – Meet Liv Gardiner, our new YOB!

Liv writes: “I’m 19 years old, and am from Winnipeg, where I
attended the First UU Church of Winnipeg for 14 years. I’m in my
first year of University at Dalhousie in Halifax…”

• 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM)  The upcoming AGM is scheduled for May 11, 2019, and will be hosted by the Unitarian Congregation of Mississauga. Review information about submitting motions.
• Planning for the AGM – Tips for delegate selection (due by April 1). Learn how to register your delegates.
• CUC Liaison Role Revived – The CUC Liaison is the bridge between your congregation and the CUC. Read about their responsibilities. (Currently at UCV this is Keith Wilkinson with help from Lynn Armstrong, Emilie Adin, Olivia Hall, Kiersten Moore, and Neal Cameron. Contact Keith if you’d like to help out.)
• Canada and Cannabis – The CUC has a long history of advocacy for the legalization of marijuana reaching back to the 1960s.
• International News – The International Women’s Convocation Fall 2018 newsletter is available now.
• News from Our Congregations – The Westwood Unitarian Congregation has become Canada’s First FreeThinker Friendly UU congregation.
• Shining Lights – The deadline for the 2019 Shining Lights nominations is coming up on December 15.
• Stories from the Nominees for the 2018 Shining Light Award – Learn more about Community Conversations at the Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough.
• Grants and Subsidies – The CUC manages a variety of grants and subsidies to support congregational outreach, innovation, and seminarians.
• Job and Volunteer Opportunities – Openings are available for CanUUdle staff, Unicamp is looking for a new Executive Director, and the First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo is searching for a part-time consulting minister.
• Upcoming Events – Besides our CUC roundtables and webinars, the Eastern Regional Fall Gathering is happening on November 17. Register now!

• Gathered Here – A new program of monthly zoom chats for young adults

 2018 – November 12, December 10
2019 – January 14, February 11, March 11, April 8, May 6, June 10, July 8, August 12.

• Organizational Tip – Check out the advantages of role-specific email addresses for leaders.
• Contact Us – A full listing of CUC Board and Staff contact information.

If you have information you would like to contribute or are interested in writing an article for the eNews, please

Canadian UU Events: Fall 2018, Spring 2019

Upcoming UU regional, national and international action:
– Referendum on BC Electoral Reform, before 30 Nov;
– CUC AGM, 11 May 2019 in Toronto;
– BC Interior UU Spring Gathering – “Creating Theology Together”, date & location TBA

CUC 2019 Annual General Meeting – Sat 11 May 2019 (weekend before the long weekend), online and live from Toronto. Participate online — being easy on the environment is part of the plan!

We suggest pre-reading and discussion in the fall of 2018 on this topic:     

Proportional Representation: Assessment of alternative models” – What national, regional, congregational, and individual action plans can we create in support of proportional representation? CUC may propose actions for approval under democracy resolutions endorsed by members at the 2013, 2005 and 2003 AGMs. Therefore, prepare early!

The Vancouver Westside Unitarian Neighbourhood Group (WUNG) discussed this topic at its October 2018 meeting. Here are some links related to those discussions.

“The Rural-Urban PR model proposed by the Attorney General for BC builds on the work of previous commissions and assemblies, combining Mixed Member Proportional and Single Transferable Vote to meet the challenges of BC’s geography. A model like this was proposed federally in 2016 by Canada’s former Chief Electoral Officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley, and something very similar to this is used in Sweden, Denmark and Iceland.”

BC Interior UU Spring Gathering 2019 – Joan Carolyn, Congregational Life Staff Team – Regional Lead, Western & B.C. will be leading discussions with a planning group for a BC Interior UU gathering on the theme “Creating Theology Together”.

Here’s a link to the research behind this theme, a work by John Morehouse, 2015.

CUC 2020 Annual General Meeting & Conference, 15-17 May 2020, online & live from Halifax. Plan ahead! Put it in your calendar now. Reduce carbon emissions! Take the train or drive an electric or hybrid vehicle. Participate online! Compare stones from West and East coast beaches!

Beach stones – natural
Beach stones – enhanced

Rainbow Refugee

Outreach Opportunities Fund Recipient

The Outreach Opportunities Fund will be collecting for the Rainbow Refugee Society from October to January, 2019.

A portion of the Sunday service offering goes to an organization selected by the OOF committee.

About Rainbow Refugee

  • Founded in 2000, Rainbow Refugee is a Vancouver based community group that supports people seeking refugee protection in Canada because of persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression (SOGIE) or HIV status.

Pride in the Metro Vancouver Unitarian Community

Pride in Vancouver happens right smack in the middle of the summer. So although we at UCV are very proud of the fact we were officially certified as a Welcoming congregation for BGLTQ folk way back in 1995, we sometimes forget about planning to celebrate Pride Week. Last year when we did a vision survey, one of the comments struck me as significant: How would anyone visiting know about our positive support of queer issues?

We have a tasteful certificate hung in the sanctuary, but even if you notice it, it’s pretty subtle. Unless you’re already in the know, you wouldn’t know that “Welcoming Congregation” status had anything to do with awareness and support of diverse genders and sexual orientations.

North Shore Unitarians with the poster they created for their entrance way. They’ve generously shared the template and advice for when we decide to make something bigger.

Recently the Board supported an initiative to work with the other three Metro Vancouver congregations to recertify as Welcoming Congregations and share ideas and commitment around celebrating Pride.

We’ll be submitting an application to the West Bequest for financial support to produce and print a brochure and inviting speakers on educational topics into our congregations. To this end, we plan a couple of gatherings to share our own stories and discuss ways in which UCV can move forward.

Our UCV group is just getting started, but I’m pleased to say that along with myself, Mary Bennett, Martha Saunders and Leonie Armstrong have joined our team. If you’d like to be involved or have comments or suggestions, please send to me for forwarding to the team.

This year the South Fraser Congregation celebrated with bubbles at Surrey Pride.
UCV Congregational photo that was sent to Orlando, Florida, showing our support.

Because, as mentioned, the term “Welcoming Congregation” doesn’t mean much to any one who hasn’t already been involved in the Unitarian religion, we are considering a new and more explicit name for our team. Many schools and universities use the term Gay-Straight Alliance, but since “gay” often has a more specific meaning than the umbrella term “queer”, I found on wikipedia that some “GSA” groups are now using the term “Genders and Sexualities Alliance” and one (Christian) school in Alberta–probably others–use Gender and Sexuality Acceptance.

Beacon at New West Pride 2018.

We will be doing some preparatory work over the fall, and expect to offer some workshops and presentations in 2019.

Please do contact me with your suggestions or questions.

posted by Mary Bennett

OWL – Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society

Outreach Opportunities Fund Recipient

The Outreach Opportunities Fund will be collecting for the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL) from June to September. OWL is a non-profit organization whose staff and volunteers are dedicated to public education and the rehabilitation and
release of injured and orphaned raptors.

A portion of the Sunday service offering goes to an organization selected by the OOF committee.

About OWL


From Melody Mason on behalf of the Outreach Opportunities Fund Committee.

Would you like to visit?

3800 – 72nd Street
Delta, BC, Canada, V4K 3N2

Summer – July to August

Sunday – 10am to 3pm
Monday – 10am to 3pm
Tuesday – 10am to 3pm
Wednesday – 10am to 3pm
Thursday – 10am to 3pm
Friday – 10am to 3pm
Saturday – 10am to 3pm
Holidays – CLOSED

OWL offers guided tours for the public to come and visit our permanent residents. Hours are listed below.

You can visit us at OWL and see many of our permanent residents (hours are listed below). We operate on a guided tour basis only. You will learn how they came to be at our facility, the jobs they preform at the facility, and about the different species of raptors you can find in British Columbia. This portion of the tour is outdoors and occurs rain or shine, so don’t forget to dress for the weather!

Our tour also includes a walk inside through our Wildlife Museum and Gift Shop. The many exhibits and displays were made possible by dedicated OWL volunteers Sharon Pilkey, Gerry Powers, Colin Iverson, and Christina Hamberger.

Guided tours are by donation, are approximately 30 minutes long, and leave on the half hour, with the last one going out at 2:30pm. Bookings are required for groups of 10 or more, so please call or email us in advance so we can arrange a tour for you.

Giving to Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS)

Outreach Opportunities Fund Recipient February – May 2018

Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS)

CLAS provides legal assistance to low-income people across British Columbia (BC).  They focus on legal issues in the areas of: housing security, income security, human rights, mental health rights, and workers’ rights.  They offer a wide variety of legal services, including: summary legal advice to outline client’s options and point them in the right direction, guidance to help clients represent themselves, and full representation.

Assistance is provided to clients in the following areas.

Housing evictions: if there has been an eviction and the tenant has lost a dispute resolution hearing at the Residential Tenancy Branch, if a home is being foreclosed upon, or if membership in a co-op is being terminated.

Access to Government Benefits: if an appeal at the Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal or Social Security Tribunal has been lost over regular or disability benefits, supplements or other kind of income support.

Human rights: if someone has been discrimination against, or an appeal has been lost at the Human Rights Tribunal.

Mental health: if a client has applied for a Review Board hearing under the Mental Health Act, or an upcoming Criminal Code Review Board hearing

Work-related legal issues: if an appeal at the Worker’s Compensation Appeal Tribunal, Social Security Tribunal or Employment Standards Tribunal has been lost over workers’ compensation, employment insurance, or other employment-related benefits.

CLAS also takes test cases through the court system. Currently, it has launched a Charter challenge on behalf of two individuals who have undergone forced psychiatric treatment. The case challenges the laws in BC that remove any right for involuntary patients to give or refuse consent to psychiatric treatment, either for themselves or through a trusted family member or friend.

CLAS also advocates for systemic law reform. They work with community and advocacy groups to develop concrete proposals to improve fairness in the law and policy that govern the lives of people in BC. For example, in 2015 their lawyers worked with the City of Vancouver Renters Advisory Committee on a report, Reforming the BC Residential Tenancy System.

From Melody Mason on behalf of the Outreach Opportunities Fund Committee.